A few nights ago I heard one of the best concerts of my life; the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique and Monteverdi Choir with Sir John Eliot Gardiner performing Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.  In a word: WOW!  I had never heard the Missa Solemnis not to mention an 80 piece orchestra of period instruments and I gotta say, I was totally blown away.  As for the 30+ member choir and soloists, it was arguably some of the finest singing I’ve heard.  Truly remarkable.  After the concert, I met Marten Root, the Principal Flutist, and we chatted for some time.  The next day, I woke up feeling like I had been given a huge dose of inspiration.  It got me thinking about this freelance thing that I’m a part of, zipping up and down the state to make my living playing in various orchestras and chamber groups, teaching students both at the university as well as young beginners, peddling flutes, and cobbling together a career from a variety of sources.  These 80+ musicians’ lives are not unlike ours.  They too are freelancers and teachers except for them, a 6 hour drive may mean going from Brussels to Zurich versus Long Beach to Oakland.  They’re a lot like we “Freeway Philharmonic” musicians here in CA.  Very much so.  We’re all doing the same basic thing in different corners of the world.  Though our view from the windows of our car (or train) ride may vary, once we arrive and sit down in our chair, our jobs are the same, period instrument or modern instrument: honor the wishes of the composer the best we can, strive for our highest level of excellency and make music.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I feel grateful for that dose of inspiration and thankful to get to do what I love to do, everyday.